Liah Penn
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Excerpt from Chapter 1, Pure Death 

        Melker had the tent and screens up when we arrived, but it didn’t keep out the rain, nor the stench of a decomposing body from reaching us as we approached. Even with a clean suit and mask protecting me, I could tell that the decomposition was pretty well advanced. The unsecured edges of the crime scene tent snapped in the wind. I pulled aside the flap and went in.

         “Ina,” Melker said, nodding to me. I took a pen and notepad from my pocket and propped it on the crook of my left arm. “Not much to work with, I’m afraid.” He held the tip of a thermometer in what was left of some body cavity. “Who’s that?” he added, gesturing to a figure outside.

         “New guy, Sam Fujimoto. From Replacements.” I glanced through the gaps in the tent at my new partner as he zipped up his own clean suit.

         “How long?”

         “About a week.” I breathed through my mouth. The stench was pretty bad.

         “He might want to stay out.”

         “Think it’ll scare him?” I asked.

         “Would it have scared you?”